This is the autobiographical journal of Arvil Bren, a somewhat reluctant hero who has been placed on an unknown quest by powers that he barely knows exist. Follow his journey as it is updated daily, Monday through Friday, and enjoy! These are the most recent entries in Arvil Bren's third journal; Politics of the Redoran. His first journal can be found in its entirety here. His second journal, Trail of the Archmage can be found here.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Day 133: Fortress of the Sixth House

The ashstorm ended with the dawn. Missun Akin and I shared a quiet breakfast of scrib jerky and kwama eggs. I asked him about his neighbors. I could not imagine how he slept through the wailing of the dreamers as they descended into the madness of the corprus disease. The answer is that he doesn't sleep through it.

Most of the time the leaders of the cult keep the dreamers inside the fortress, only when the ashstorms blow do they allow the monsters to stalk the land. The roaring winds blasting their load of gritty ash against the stone is too much to sleep through then anyway. While he is no ally of Dagoth Ur the master archer has no interest in delving into the business of the cult. He fears the corprus disease; a justifiable fear.

"Missun," I said, "I also am no ally of Dagoth Ur. In fact I am a sworn blood enemy. Before I move on I need to visit that fortress."

"I did not take you for a fool Arvil Bren," he replied. "To enter the fortress is death, either quick or slow. The Dagoth who heads the cult will curse you with corprus if his minions don't kill you first."

"Dagoth Ur thinks I am the Nerevarine. One of his Dagoths already gave me the corprus. That is the least of my worries here. I am worried about what sort of creatures I will have to face. Is the fortress just a den of dreamers, or do the ash minions of Red Mountain gather there?"

"You...had the corprus?" the archer asked slowly. "The corprus disease?"

"Yes, I did. In fact I still do, but only a few of the symptoms are active, the rest of the curse has been undone."

"Undone? Corprus doesn't just get 'undone'. What makes you think you had the corprus?"

"The Dagoth of the Sixth House who gave it to me told me what it was, and why he gave it to me. It was supposed to force me to Red Mountain to bow to Dagoth Ur. Instead I went to Tel Fyr; to the corprusarium there."

Archers are not cowards, though some devoted swordsmen might call them that. They are wise warriors who choose their battles to slant in their favor. Through his centuries of life the master archer has gathered a vast trove of wisdom. "The proof of this mad tale will be when you walk out of the fortress. If you do." He told me as much as he knew of the dangers within.

Although I am not the master that Missun Akin is I am fairly skilled, and the layout of the fortress played in my favor. There are sufficient long straight halls to provide opportune shots, and those afflicted with the corprus are not fast, or smart. Those I did not catch in the halls I could lure out from their chambers. While some had great strength due to the ravages of the disease these lowest minions were little danger to me. But with time the servants of the Sixth House transcend the disease they voluntarily take on.

These ascended sleepers channel powerful magica; the destructive spells of House Dagoth. In confronting these horrors the tables turned. The confinement of the narrow halls made it impossible for me to avoid the blasts of their spells, and their massive misshapen bodies took a lot of punishment before collapsing to the ground. Fortunately those massive bodies are almost impossible to miss from any reasonable range, and collapse they did.

Sometimes rushing to the charge, sometimes creeping stealthily, I made my way deeper and deeper into the ancient fortress. The accursed creatures of Red Mountain assailed me; ash zombies with their rending lifeless claws, ash ghouls with command of spellcraft similar to the ascended sleepers but without their bloated and slow moving bodies. I prayed that this fortress being so close to the evil source, Red Mountain, would not be home to the dreaded ash vampires. In that I was blessed, or lucky.

Eventually I fought through and gained the central chamber to confront the Dagoth, head of the cult in this base. Black beady eyes glared from either side of the extended ash grey snout. "You," it hissed. "Until you bow at Red Mountain you are branded enemy, and must be slain. I will be greatly rewarded for this."

"You would be better served to deliver a message to your master, and live," I shot back with far more confidence than I actually felt. "I'm sure he will sense your death, and that will tell him something, but I would rather he heard my words. I will not bow. I am not the Nerevarine, but the times call for the Nerevarine to appear, and that might mean that I will become the Nerevarine. His curse on me is foiled. If I go to Red Mountain it will be by my choice, not his, and it will be to kill him, not bow."

"You talk of killing the undying one Breton. You are not the Nerevarine. Nerevar would not be so stupid. I will deliver your head to Dagoth Ur; not your message." Powerful legs flexed under the monster's robes and it leapt to the attack. Green venomous magica gathered on the long grasping fingers and dripped from the claws. I staggered backwards under the onslaught, fending the ravening beast off with my shield. The venom scourged my forearm as the beast grabbed my shield and tore it from my grasp. I dodged and rolled away. The Daedric shield crashed against the wall, flung furiously aside.

I gained my feet and cast a summoning spell. I am not well practiced at conjurations, but fortune continued to smile upon me. The spell worked, and a powerful Daedric spirit entered our plane, taking the form of a mighty spear. I wheeled on my foe, the long shaft taking a whistling arc. The Dagoth leapt high in the air to clear the slicing blade. With a roar the monster unleashed a great gout of elemental flame. My breastplate of dreugh skin is very tough, but the hide of the aquatic dreugh is not conditioned to resist fire. It stiffened in the blazing heat, pressing unmercifully into my charring flesh as I tried to escape the blast. The spear clattered to the floor as I cast a healing spell, and the monster was upon me.

The healing spell took effect, and further incantations spilled from my blistered lips. A shell of frosty magical energy swirled around me an instant before the grasping arms of the Dagoth could enfold me. The beast roared in pain when the freezing cold ravaged the ashy flesh. I slipped free. The room shimmered in my vision through the icy swirl that continued around me. I shifted the tone of my spells to call upon my own school of destructive magica, forming a frost bolt that smashed devastatingly against the already tortured Dagoth. The creature staggered. I continued weaving the spells that held open the rift to the elemental plane of frost and charged to the attack.

I grappled the beast. My soft grip against the hardened talons of my enemy would seem to be no match, but the boundaries of the planes had been split wide. Frost energy flowed around me in a protective barrier, and gathered to devastating effect in my hands. The horrible Dagoth roared its last as brittle skin and chunks of frozen ash sloughed away from its bones. The destruction of the magically charged minion of Dagoth Ur sent a ripple through the voidstreams. It shook me. Missun Akin sensed it in his stone house. I'm sure Dagoth Ur could feel it as well. The battle is joined.


Anonymous Paul said...

One of your best yet - I loved the story.... although I thought you would have mentioned the glass armor to be found here though. Arvil needs a shiny new suit - especially after the roasting he got at the hands of the Dargoth ;)

10:31 PM  
Anonymous Zelda_Zealot said...

Very nice! I agree with paul though, there sould have been atleast a mention to the glass. I liked the part at the end though, with them "feeling" the "death" of the Dagoth.

P.S. To anyone of interest. I started a Fan-fiction for (Try to guess it ;)) Morrowind. Of course needs me to wait three days before I can put it up. So if you want to see some email me.

12:34 AM  
Anonymous talkkno said...

Yes indeed.... where is arevil heading though? I kinda got lost in the story. Is heading to the monstary? or waiting for the mages guild to dicuss enough?

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Arthmodeus said...

I believe he's trying to kill a necromancer in Khuul.

Great chapter, Tim!


12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the story - great to see Arvil finally use some serious magic in a battle ;)... And isn't the necromancer in Dagon Fell, not Khuul?

One question though (which may or may not have been asked before...) How long is this story going for? After the main storyline, are you going to go through the addons (Bloodmoon and Tribunal), make up an original further plot, or just finish the story? Personally, I hope you keep it going; this is one of (if not the best) Morrowind story out there.

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Arthmodeus said...

He seems to really hate the Dark Brotherhood so I would expect to see him end those annoying ambushes.

5:51 PM  
Anonymous talkkno said...

Ya that mean that tribinual will go first.

7:16 PM  
Anonymous Zelda_Zealot said...

Too bad. I loved Solstheim far more then Mournhold...

7:26 PM  

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